Driver in hit and run that caused student fatality had been speeding, drinking

UPDATE: Nov. 1 10:17 p.m.

Vincent Fernando Garcia, the suspect related to the Sunday morning hit and run that killed a UCCS freshman, ran a red light and had been drinking, according to The Gazette.

Briane Conway, Garcia’s passenger in his tan Ford Bronco, said that Garcia did not slow down after she saw three people cross the street, even after she told him to go back to the scene. Garcia was traveling 70 mph on Austin Bluffs, a 40 mph zone at the time of the accident.

Conway and Garcia left the truck near a Target parking lot on North Academy Boulevard and drove back to Garcia’s place of residence. Officers found the truck with front end damage, including a damaged grill and the left front headlamp and debris that matched the crime scene.

Garcia turned himself in to the Colorado Springs Police Department on Oct. 31. The 27-year-old, who is from Colorado Springs,  was booked on the charges of Vehicular Homicide; Accidents involving Death or Personal Injuries; Duty to Report Accidents; and Reckless Driving. He is being held on a $10,000 bond in the El Paso County Jail.


On Oct. 29, 19-year-old  Zachary Schlagel, a freshman pre-engineering student who lived on campus, was identified as the UCCS student who was killed in the hit and run that occurred on Sunday. Schlagel and two other pedestrians were crossing the street legally in the crosswalk at the time of the accident.

One pedestrian suffered minor injuries and the other was not injured. Schlagel died as a result of multiple blunt force injuries, per the CSPD.

Chancellor Venkat Reddy offered his condolences on Sunday morning in a statement addressing the accident. “We are deeply saddened this morning to share news of the loss of a member of our campus community,” said Reddy in the statement sent to campus emails.

In a Tuesday statement, Reddy said that the university was working with Schlagel’s family and roommates.

Counseling services are available to students, faculty and staff who may be impacted by this incident at the Wellness Center. For more information, contact the center at 255-4444.

This is a developing story.